CHICAGO (AP) — Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears finally gave their frustrated fans something to celebrate.
The defending NFC North champions got their offense in gear, snapped their four-game losing streak and let loose afterward.
Trubisky tied a season high with three touchdown passes, and the Bears withstood a late charge by Detroit with Jeff Driskel filling in for injured quarterback Matthew Stafford, beating the Lions 20-13 on Sunday.
Detroit ruled out the 31-year-old Stafford hours before kickoff because of hip and back injuries, ending his streak of 136 consecutive starts. It was the first time he missed a regular-season game since 2010.
Chicago (4-5) quieted the boos by getting its struggling offense going late in the first half, scored two touchdowns early in the third quarter and hung on to win for the first time since beating Minnesota in Week 4. Detroit (3-5-1) lost for the fifth time in six games.
“Four games is a long time,” Bears coach Matt Nagy said. “I just sat back. Just to be able to watch the guys (in the postgame celebration). … They ended up doing some one-on-one dancing, which is pretty neat. It’s exciting. We enjoy it. It brings you together.”
It comes at a time when the Bears looked as if they were falling apart. With soaring expectations after going from worst to first in Nagy’s first season last year, little has gone right this season. And Chicago nearly gave away a 14-point lead, with Driskel orchestrating the late push.
He threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay to cut it to 20-13 with 5:53 remaining. And he led Detroit from its 10 to the Chicago 25 on the game’s final drive. But with the ball on 25, he overthrew Marvin Jones Jr. in the end zone as time expired on a play that would not have counted because of an illegal forward pass penalty.
Trubisky completed 16 of 23 passes for 173 yards in another solid outing against Detroit. It wasn’t as good as his performance against the Lions last year in a win at Soldier Field, when the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns.
Trubisky got sacked five times. But overall, this was a positive step for the struggling quarterback.
Taylor Gabriel, Tarik Cohen and Ben Braunecker each caught touchdowns. Nick Kwiatkoski set up a TD with his first career interception .
“I think when you go through a stretch like we did, it’s tough,” Trubisky said. “And I think days like today you appreciate just a little bit more, just getting back to it and getting back to that good feeling of winning.”
Patricia said the Lions decided Sunday not to play Stafford. He described his quarterback as “day by day, week by week” and wouldn’t get into specifics about the injury.
Driskel performed rather well in his sixth career start, going 27 of 46 for 269 yards with a touchdown and interception. He also got some help from Stafford.
“He’s the unquestioned leader of this team and one of the toughest dudes I’ve ever been around, most competitive people I’ve ever been around,” Driskel said. “So yeah, having his presence there was huge, not just for me but for the whole team.”
Matt Prater kicked two field goals for the Lions, who dropped their third straight against Chicago after winning nine of 10.